If the liver is the source of blood: if the liver is the source
of life: if the people live with blood, visceral, on the sidewalks; the news
ticker divining Police Kill: the news ticker divining Supporters Shout;
if the people mow the bright green golf-course grass
of battlefields: Pea Ridge, Antietam: dust the sky with flags
and mow the grass, and the liver blinks toxic as a neon sign,
and the men move the pegs in the stock market
and the men water the grass; and Hate and Hate; and the men
say, Let the President; and the people say, Compassion; and the liver
reveals its dark deities on the walls of buildings;
its ancient symbols; and the liver reveals the people’s bodies
coursing strange bloods; and the men lean in closer to observe
how their pockets fill; and the liver shines like the knife
that opens it; the liver shines like a safe word on a tongue;
and someone says, It’s all consensual. And someone says, Help.
Copyright © 2017 Alexandra Teague. Used with permission of the author. This poem originally appeared in Tin House, Fall 2017.